„Here I must inject a personal note—I never shed blood upon the field of Sidwell Friends, nor did I fight the battles of Yale Law. I am a miner's son, and my father was a self-made man who unmade himself during my youth. Education was not a family legacy, and my kin belonged to the United Mine Workers of America, not to Skull and Bones. My forebears fought this country's wars from the bottom ranks, and I began my own military career as a private. I have felt the full arrogance of those to whom much was given, and personally, wish that I might come to bury the elite, not to praise them. Yet, those who would rise need examples to emulate. It grates on me to write it, but our military needs a return of the nation's elite to the officer corps, to the extent that a traditional elite, with its spotty but essential ideals of service, still exists.“
— Ralph Peters
autobiographical aside from Beyond Terror, p. 319. Originally part of an essay entitled "Hucksters in Uniform" which appeared in the May 1999 edition of The Washington Monthly.